Dave Chappelle Duke Ellington School Will Change Theater Name After Comics – The Hollywood Reporter

Duke Ellington School of the Arts will rename one of the institution’s theaters after Dave Chappelle regardless of the results of a fundraising contest that the comics suggested after his recent visit appeared to have gone awry. .

Earlier this month, not long after his Netflix special NS Closer Creating a firestorm, Chappelle’s alma mater announced it was postponing a ceremony to rename a theater after the comedian.

Last Tuesday, the Grammy-winning comic series hosted a question-and-answer session for a crowd of students at a Washington, DC high school, where people took to the streets of their newest and controversial Netflix special. He reportedly gave their enthusiastic opinions.

Then on Saturday, Chappelle posted on Instagram that he would accept the results of a contest he devised in which donations to the school can be made or condemn the name change. Theatre. “My sole purpose is to ensure Duke Ellington has the opportunity to train his artists without restraint,” Chappelle said in an Instagram post.

However, the school said the fundraising contest – despite being highly regarded – was up for debate. The theater will be renamed after Chappelle.

“While we appreciate Dave’s inspirational and spirited fundraising initiative, we support our decision to honor the wishes of our late co-founder, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, to name the home sing after Chappelle,” read a statement from the school. “All donations will go to the arts program and every sponsor, regardless of whether they support or oppose the naming of the theater, will receive an official thank you from our team.”

Continuing the statement, “Chappelle cares deeply about Ellington and the students of the school and treats them like family. He made an unannounced visit over the Thanksgiving break to meet his Ellington family and to hear directly from some of the students interested in his recent comedy special, Closer. He also wanted to directly express his support for their safety in the face of some disturbing online comments directed at the Ellington community. ”

In addition to mentioning the name change, the school’s statement noted media reports of interactions during his visit were erroneous.

“While extensive media coverage of the theater’s naming and Chappelle’s most recent visit to the school was widely reported, the viral source stories were inaccurate, out of context, and ignored for inclusion. into the nuances of art,” the school said in a statement. “As an arts institution, we educate our students on the importance of media literacy and the arts as a free and open form of expression that reflects and challenges society. While it appears that the majority of students at Ellington support the naming of the theater for Dave Chappelle, we are seizing this moment to demonstrate the importance of listening carefully to all voices in the diverse community. our form and integration. “

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